NUI Galway lecturer promoted after gender discrimination row

Four other women continue legal action against Irish university

October 25, 2017
National University of Ireland, Galway, Aula Maxima, Quadrangle
Source: Alamy

One of five women embroiled in a long-running gender discrimination dispute with the National University of Ireland, Galway has been promoted after an agreement was reached.

The Irish Times reported that Elizabeth Tilley had been promoted from lecturer in the English department to senior lecturer, a post that she had missed out on in the 2008-09 promotions round.

NUI Galway told the newspaper that an “amicable agreement” had been reached and, although the details are confidential, the Irish Times reported that compensation had been paid to Dr Tilley.

In 2008-09, just one of the 15 women who sought promotion to senior lecturer at NUI Galway was successful. In 2014, Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, a former lecturer at the institution, won a landmark equality tribunal case against the university for discrimination relating to the same promotion round.

Four other women affected by the 2008-09 promotion round – Adrienne Gorman, Róisín Healy, Margaret Hodgins and Sylvie Lannegrand – are continuing to pursue legal action against NUI Galway, while Dr Tilley had opted for an employment tribunal route.

Earlier this month, THE reported that the four women were being pressured by colleagues to accept a settlement from the university amid concern that the dispute was putting research funding at risk.

Universities in the Republic of Ireland must achieve bronze Athena SWAN recognition by the end of 2019 to continue to be eligible for funding from the Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and the Health Research Board.

The university has accepted the recommendations of a task force on gender equality designed to improve the under-representation of women in senior academic positions.

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